Stranger Than Fiction

| June 12, 2008

Curses, foiled again

When police in Sheboygan, Wis., stopped a vehicle for improper registration, one of the passengers identified himself by giving a false name, hoping to conceal unpaid traffic citations in another state. The name he gave, however, turned out to have an active felony warrant for vehicular homicide. The passenger then stated his right name, admitting he lied before, only to then be arrested for obstruction.

Police investigating a break-in at a Hungry Howie's Pizza restaurant in Jacksonville, Fla., promptly identified employee Joseph Whittenton as their suspect after a surveillance video showed the burglar wearing his Hungry Howie's uniform, and the manager recognized Whittenton.

Police in Fort Worth, Texas, arrested Charles Ray Fuller, 21, after he tried to cash a check for $360 billion. Suspicious bank employees called the check's owner, who said the check was written on her account without her permission. Police who took Fuller into custody found marijuana and a .25-caliber handgun in his pockets and said he told them he intended to use the money to start his own record label.

Can can

Officials at a Philippines hospital began investigating surgeons who filmed an operation to remove a spray can from a man's rectum and then posted the footage on YouTube. Deutsche-Presse Agentur reported the video, which was quickly taken off the popular video-sharing Web site after complaints, showed dozens of people in the operating theater at Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City laughing and jeering as the surgeons removed the canister.

The video was thought to be a hoax until the 39-year-old patient identified himself to the media. He explained he ended up with the spray can inside him after insulting the size of his partner's penis.

Missing the point

Trendy lingerie maker Triumph International Japan Ltd. introduced its environmentally friendly, green-colored "Solar Power Bra," which the company claims can generate enough electric energy to charge a cell phone or an iPod. Hailing the solar-powered bra as a way to help save the planet, Triumph official Yoshiko Masuda admitted it wouldn't be appearing in stores anytime soon. Power comes from a solar panel worn around the stomach that requires light to generate electricity, but Masuda admitted, "people usually cannot go outside without wearing clothes over it." It also should not be washed.

A British court heard that driving instructor David Aston, 32, twice drove three girls ages 13 to 15 to the woods and paid them to kick him in the groin. Testimony in Oxford Crown Court revealed Aston would lay a towel down to keep his clothes clean, then pull down his trousers and crouch while the girls kicked him until he could no longer bear the pain. He drove them home, paid two of them 10 pounds and gave the third a bottle of whisky. Aston was charged following an investigation that he himself set in motion by complaining to police that one of the girls kept pestering him for sex.

Attendance booster

Fans attending minor league baseball games in Eastlake, Ohio, can enter to win an all-expense-paid funeral. The Lake County Captains, a Class A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, will pick a winner later this season to win the funeral, valued at $6,000. Funeral Director Jeff Monreal of Monreal Funeral Home said the free funeral (burial plot not included) is a way of saying thank you to the community.

Instead of bobbleheads, Minnesota's St. Paul Saints baseball team announced it was giving away "bobblefoot" dolls, commemorating the arrest of Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, for soliciting sex in a Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport restroom. The souvenir figures consist of a miniature bathroom stall with a couple of lower legs and feet. One of the feet is spring-loaded and taps, the Saints' press release said.

Fashion flash

The track coach at Bracken Christian School in Bulverde, Texas, lost his job after police arrested him in a San Antonio park for exposing himself while holding a Bible and wearing women's underwear. The police report said Lawrence "Poppy" Vincent, 74, pulled down his shorts in front of a female undercover park officer, "exposing floral panties" and "wearing a woman's bra."

Toll-free sex

A 38-year-old Japanese plumber was arrested for calling a food company's toll-free number 500 times in 16 months so he could hear the woman's voice on the recording. A police official in Takasaki said the man made 3,100 hours worth of free calls that cost the company 4 million yen ($38,730) in phone bills. "He gets excited by the woman's voice on the guidance tape," the official said, adding that the detective investigating the matter did not find the recorded voice particularly arousing.

Hard at work

Police in Hales Corner, Wis., maintained an all-night standoff at a house, but the three occupants slept through the one-sided confrontation. The three men, two 19 and one 20, apparently fired some shots for fun around 1 a.m., then went to bed and never heard police responding to calls about the gunshots. Instead of knocking on the door, officers immediately called in a SWAT team, evacuated neighbors as a precaution and waited for the occupants' first move. The men slept soundly until 8:30, then awoke and noticed the police surrounding them. They found out why and peacefully surrendered.

David Williams, 42, called police in Manchester, England, to report receiving harassing phone calls, but when officers responded, he didn't answer the door. Peering in a window, officers said they saw a man holding a pistol. They cordoned off the street, burst through the back door and held Williams at gunpoint. "I didn't have a clue what was going on," he said, until he realized what police had seen was the silhouette of a life-size promotional figure of Lara Croft, which they mistook for an armed man. Williams said he was arrested anyway, held for 13 hours and charged with a firearms offense.

Chastity belts

Massage parlors in one Indonesian town began asking female masseuses to padlock their skirts and pants to make it clear to customers that sex is not part of the rubdown session. The Jakarta Post reported the no-sex signal began at one parlor in the tourist town of Batu on Java island; others followed suit after local officials suggested doing so would be a good idea. "The padlocking phenomena has been seen at various parlors," said Imam Suryono, the head of the town's public order authority, "and it is something we like."

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